The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Shame | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Shame

Directed by: Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale

There have been some excellent films made on the subject of addiction, films like Nicholas Ray's "Bigger Than Life" and Karel Reisz' "The Gambler". There have also been some awfully judgemental right-wing propaganda pieces like "Reefer Madness" and "Assassin Of Youth". "Shame" falls in to the latter camp, it's the "Reefer Madness" of sex-addiction movies.
What's offensive about this is that it doesn't just ask us to feel sorry for Fassbender's sex-addict, it suggests we should feel scorn towards him. If you cut out the nudity this is the sort of movie a religion teacher would show their pupils to terrify them away from promiscuity. My attitude to sex is like my attitude to religion, once it's between consenting adults and kept out of public view I couldn't care what people engage in. Director McQueen's attitude seems to be if you're having sex outside of marriage you're a bad person and terrible things will happen to you.
If you've ever seen Kubrick's excellent "Eyes Wide Shut" imagine the plot in reverse and you have this film. McQueen tries his best to make sex seem like something evil but anyone with a healthy attitude will be left bewildered. There's a threesome scene which he accompanies ominous music over it but I doubt any red-blooded person would honestly think it looks anything other than a lot of fun.
If you want to see a great movie about the fear of commitment I suggest Wong Kar Wai's brilliant "Days Of Being Wild". If you're a righteously indignant asshole I suggest "Shame", but I defy you not to get a little turned on.